The UK Government has awarded a contract to General Dynamics (GD) to continue support for the national army's armoured fighting vehicles.
Valued at £390m, the contract will extend the current in service support contract for the Scout Specialist Vehicles (SV) to 2024, delivering onshore technical engineering and maintenance from a GD facility in South Wales.
The deal also brings an additional 250 new highly-skilled jobs to Wales, as the company relocates the vehicle assembly, integration, and testing from overseas to the region.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Today's decision by General Dynamics to bring the assembly of these world class armoured vehicles to South Wales is to the credit of the skills and expertise in the local area.
"The 250 additional new skilled jobs at General Dynamics will build on those already safeguarded by the decision to purchase 589 Scout vehicles for our armed forces, ensuring our servicemen and women have the very best equipment to keep us safe."
Wales Secretary Stephen Crabb said: "This is an enormous vote of confidence in the Welsh workforce and will provide a huge jobs boost for Merthyr Tydfil."
In September 2014, GD won a £3.5bn contract to supply 589 new armoured fighting vehicles, known as Scout specialist vehicles, to serve as the 'eyes and ears' of the UK Army.
The vehicles are scheduled to be delivered in six variants to provide essential capability to the army by 2020.
The variants include scout reconnaissance, equipment support repair, equipment and support recovery, command and control, protected mobility reconnaissance support (PMRS) variants, and engineer reconnaissance variants.
Armed with a 40mm cannon, the vehicles are designed by GD UK, based in Oakdale, South Wales, and will provide the army with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, protection, target acquisition, and reconnaissance capabilities.
Image: A prototype of the UK Army's new Scout specialist vehicle. Photo: Crown copyright.